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Weather Radar: How 'Listening to the Sky' Helps Us Track Precipitation

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Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR)
WSR-88D_Tower-NOAA.jpg

A Dual-polarization doppler radar tower

NOAA

Much like other great scientific discoveries of our time, the benefits of radar technology in weather prediction were discovered unintentionally. First used during World War II as a defense mechanism, radar was identified as a potential scientific tool when military personnel happened to notice "noise" from precipitation on their radar displays.

Today, radar is an essential tool for forecasting precipitation associated with thunderstorms, hurricanes, and winter storms, and is perhaps the most widely recognized weather graphic.

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